2017-08-10 / Business

City could take a gambol on trail extension

BY LANIA ROCHA
810-452-2652 • lrocha@mihomepaper.com

SWARTZ CREEK – The city of Swartz Creek could connect to the Genesee Valley Trail within two years.

“The Genesee Valley Trail is the second highest priority trail for the region,” said City Manager Adam Zettel. “There’s a good chance, if we work with Flint Township, we could get (grant funding).”

Once the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board finalizes its 5-year park master plan, city officials can begin applying to the state departments of Transportation and Environmental Quality for grants to extend the non-motorized trail from Flint Township to Elms Park.

If the city begins submitting applications this fall, the “best case scenario” for launching construction of the first phase is spring 2019, Zettel said.

The trail extension must be in the park plan to be eligible for state funding.

“There are some great funding opportunities,” said Vanessa Warren, project manager for OHM Advisors, a Saginawbased company involved in the city’s park improvements.

Warren, last week, presented the park board with preliminary drawings for the three-phase trail project that ultimately could extend the pathway to Winshall Park.

The Genesee Valley Trail, https:// www.facebook.com/GVTrail/, begins at the Flint River Trail and continues west through Flint Township to the township park on Norko Drive.

The proposed extension would take the trail south, crossing Dye Road and entering the city of Swartz Creek at the MTA station.

A trail crossing at the intersection of Dye and Miller roads was ruled out because utility poles and a commercial property, combined with traffic, make it too congested, Warren said, adding that MTA leaders are on board with the trail proposal.

“They think it’s a fantastic idea,” she said. “It promotes active living.”

The walkway/bike path would continue along Miller Road to Bristol Road, and along Bristol Road to a Consumers Energy easement east of Elms Road. From there, it would go south along the easement to the east (back) side of Elms Park.

Warren said Consumers Energy is also willing to cooperate in the project.

Phases II and III would take the trail

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